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Episodes

Among the many curiosities you'll find in the Episodes table below is this little tidbit: From Season Two through Season Six, the lowest-rated Final 3 episode (AI5's, at 54.7) outpolled the highest-rated Finale (AI2's, 54.0). But upon further review, we suppose that's not all that surprising. AI Finales tend to be ragged affairs comprising 83 separate commercial breaks, a few reprise performances, and those always-popular American Idol Original Winners' Songs™, which the staff at WNTS.com is convinced are secretly written by saboteurs hired by rival networks.

On the other hand, a Final 3 episode is truly Must-See TV: three contestants, three songs apiece, and two tickets to the Kodak Theater on the line. Each contestant is fresh off an emotional trip home, and each is forced, for the first time since the Hollywood Round, to perform at least one song not of his or her own choosing. The pressure has to be suffocating, but by and large the Idols have risen to the challenge: nine 5-star performances (including 90-plus ones from Bo Bice and Katharine McPhee), 13 at 4-stars, and just two clocking in at 1-star. The Final Three are usually in it to win it.

As for the rest of the episodes, about the only advice we can offer is this: never try to predict whether or not a show will be any good based on its theme. As evidence, take a look at some of the themes of the highest-rated episodes below.

[back to top] American Idol  Episodes

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# Date Episode / Theme #Cn #Pf Average Rating Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
101 38097 Apr 20, 2004
Barry Manilow
7 7
52.3
 
78 18 21.0 1 1 3 2 0
102 38104 Apr 27, 2004
Gloria Estefan
6 6
43.3
 
72 8 16.5 1 3 0 2 0
103 38132 May 25, 2004
Finale
2 6
53.5
 
83 20 12.7 0 2 1 2 1
104 38404 Feb 21, 2005
Open
12 12
48.0
 
84 19 19.5 1 4 4 2 1
105 38405 Feb 22, 2005
Open
12 12
46.7
 
87 13 18.8 1 5 2 2 2
106 38411 Feb 28, 2005
Open
10 10
51.1
 
90 16 21.2 1 2 4 2 1
107 38412 Mar 1, 2005
Open
10 10
44.5
 
68 10 21.3 1 2 5 2 0
108 38419 Mar 8, 2005
Open
8 8
47.5
 
80 7 16.4 1 2 2 2 1
109 38475 May 3, 2005
Lieber & Stoller / This Week
5 10
52.8
 
89 13 18.8 1 2 3 2 2
110 38770 Feb 22, 2006
Open
12 12
49.2
 
85 7 16.5 1 4 3 2 2
111 38776 Feb 28, 2006
Open
10 10
41.6
 
70 7 16.7 2 2 4 2 0
112 38784 Mar 8, 2006
Open
8 8
49.8
 
80 24 19.9 0 3 2 2 1
113 38805 Mar 29, 2006
2000s
10 10
40.9
 
72 9 20.3 2 2 4 2 0
114 38846 May 9, 2006
Elvis Presley
4 8
53.3
 
86 21 20.6 0 3 1 2 2
115 38853 May 16, 2006
Idol's / Clive's / Judge's
3 9
54.6
 
90 21 17.6 0 1 5 2 1
116 38860 May 23, 2006
Finale
2 6
49.8
 
77 13 12.5 1 1 2 2 0
117 39147 Mar 6, 2007
Open
8 8
42.4
 
67 21 17.4 0 4 2 2 0
118 39148 Mar 7, 2007
Open
8 8
50.3
 
88 17 14.8 1 1 3 2 1
119 39161 Mar 20, 2007
British Invasion
11 11
52.1
 
86 23 18.0 0 4 3 2 2
120 39168 Mar 27, 2007
Gwen Stefani
10 10
48.9
 
81 15 18.2 2 2 3 2 1
121 39203 May 1, 2007
Bon Jovi
6 6
63.0
 
86 15 18.0 1 0 1 2 2
122 39210 May 8, 2007
Bee Gees
4 8
41.8
 
77 19 21.6 1 3 2 2 0
123 39504 Feb 26, 2008
1970s
10 10
51.4
 
93 19 17.9 1 3 2 2 2
124 39511 Mar 4, 2008
1980s
8 8
56.8
 
90 12 15.9 1 1 2 2 2
125 39532 Mar 25, 2008
Year You Were Born
10 10
55.2
 
95 23 19.4 0 3 3 2 2
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